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05/20/2020
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A surveillance tool used to spy on WhatsApp messages seems familiar. An Iranian group has been sifting through communications logs in Pakistan. And you can bet we'll hear more about that EasyJet breach before long. This is CyberScoop for Wednesday, May 20.

Hacking tool is linked to defunct firm

A software surveillance tool that appears to be linked to a spyware company notorious for shoddy exploits has been spying on WhatsApp and Facebook messages of Android users in Thailand, according to new research. The malware, which Cisco Talos dubs “WolfRAT,” searches for activity on victims’ chat applications, then records activity on the screen. The tool, which Talos observed being used as recently as April, is believed to be attached to Wolf Research, a now-defunct startup that was shut down once its work was exposed in a talk at the 2018 VirusBulletin Conference. But it appears it may have spun up operations again through a new firm called LokD. Shannon Vavra explains.


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Another airline breach to keep an eye on

Hackers accessed travel details about roughly 9 million people amid a data breach at EasyJet, the largest airline in the United Kingdom. EasyJet said thieves had walked off with customer emails and travel information in what the company described as a “highly sophisticated cyber-attack,” without providing any details. EasyJet alerted the U.K. Information Commissioner’s Office to the incident, as required under European data protection law. This comes after British Airways was fined under Europe's GDPR for failing to fix vulnerabilities that made an unrelated hack possible. Jeff Stone is watching.


Spies love telecoms

Eighteen state-linked hacking groups targeted telecommunication firms around the world last year, according to Symantec. In highlighting one operations, Symantec provided more details about the location of the targets. A suspected Iranian group known as Greenbug breached at least three telecom firms in Pakistan, rooting around in those networks for months. It was persistent espionage that highlighted the challenges some telecom firms have in keeping spies out of their networks. And Greenbug’s not the only Tehran-affiliated group that’s been rampant in this sector. Sean Lyngaas has the report.


Cyber-hygiene in a hard shell

There are lots of places military personnel cannot take an off-the-shelf mobile device, given the security limitations on the average phone or tablet. It's an inconvenience, and it's also a bit of an operations problem for the Department of Defense, which wants to improve the mobility of all its personnel. The Air Force and the Defense Information Systems Agency are looking to address the problem not with software, but literally with hardware — a phone case that ensures the device's cameras and microphone are completely blocked from gathering sight or sound. The project, which is in pilot phase, also involves collecting biometric information to authenticate the user. Jackson Barnett covered it at FedScoop.


Coordinating threat intel

The Cyber Threat Alliance and the Information Technology - Information Sharing and Analysis Center (IT-ISAC) just announced they will work together on threat intelligence during cybersecurity emergencies, such as WannaCry or even more region-specific attacks. That may include collaborating on cyber incidents and reporting, said the IT-ISAC and CTA, the nonprofit made up of threat intelligence firms which share data meant to shore up collective enterprise security. “By collaborating with the critical sharing “nodes” across the digital ecosystem, we can improve our defense and resilience against cyberthreats,” said CTA President and CEO, Michael Daniel. Here's the news.


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